China Delivers Crude Supertanker To Iran

Tyler Durden's picture

The US takes... and China makes. With the Western world doing all it can to cripple the Iranian regime with embargo after embargo, desperate to provoke the country into an offensive move that would be promptly retaliated as a move of "liberation", Iran, which in a few short months has achieved just what all the Western central banks have been desperate to do and see its currency collapse to record lows, continues to find eager allies in the unlikeliest of places. Namely China, which today delivered the first of 12 crudesupertankers to Iran " giving Tehran extra capacity to transport its oil to Asia as it struggles against Western sanctions, but it is unclear if the ship has the permits necessary to call at global ports." What is most amusing is the glaring override of the western isolation of Iran by China, which together with India and Russia, have now become critical trading and strategic partners of Iran, a consideration which any offensive moves by Israel or the US will most likely need to factor in.

This is where the Iranian tanker fleet was, and where it will be courtesy of China:

From Reuters:

Asian countries including China, India and South Korea are among Iran's biggest oil customers, but, to get around a European Union ban on shipping insurance imposed since July 1, they must use the fleet of the National Iranian Tanker Co. (NITC) to bring the crude home.

 

Shipments, however, have become unpredictable as NITC's limited shipping capacity is overstretched, and industry sources said the arrival of the 318,000 deadweight tonne "Panda" in the Gulf in early October may help ease the strain.

 

The very large crude carrier (VLCC) left Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding on Sept. 18. It was initially due to sail to Iran in May, but the sanctions delayed its delivery. A second vessel, the Souvenir, is conducting sea trials in China, but it is unclear when it would begin commercial operations.

 

"The first of Iran's VLCCs is on its way to Iran. It is unclear how the tanker is being insured in light of the Western sanctions, but I'm sure Iran has found a way," said a Singapore-based oil shipping executive who declined to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

 

Western insurers provide indemnity for the majority of the world's tanker fleet. Western sanctions to pressure Tehran to halt its disputed nuclear programme have cut its crude exports by nearly half to less than one million barrels a day.

Europe is confused: what is the point of the embargo if everyone is skirting it, and why does nobody fear the "developed west" anymore?

Under a $1.2 billion contract, Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co Ltd, a unit of China CSSC Holdings Ltd, and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd plan to deliver 12 supertankers by the end of 2013 to NITC, which would boost the capacity of its fleet by nearly 40 percent to around 86 million barrels.

 

Seven more VLCCs are scheduled for delivery by the end of this year, with the remaining four being built in 2013, giving Iran greater flexibility to store and transport its oil.

 

Earlier this week the U.S. government officially linked Iran's state oil company to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which would enable Washington to apply new sanctions on foreign banks dealing with the company.

 

The U.S. Treasury, however, said there was not enough information to conclude that NITC was linked to the revolutionary guards, which industry sources said boded well for the shipping firm, for now.

 

"NITC will carry on trading and it seems the U.S. government obviously does not want to kill all trade in oil as otherwise, why was NITC not targeted?," said a European industry source. "The big issue will be to what extent will there be sufficient demand from China and India to keep them in the money."

As to who is doing the actual trading of Iran oil, we now know that too: it is Vitol, the world's largest oil trader.

Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, is buying and selling Iranian fuel oil, undermining Western efforts to choke the flow of petrodollars to Tehran and put pressure on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

 

Vitol last month bought 2 million barrels of fuel oil, used for power generation, from Iran and offered it to Chinese traders, Reuters established in interviews with 10 oil trading, industry and shipping sources in Southeast Asia, China and the Middle East.

 

The Swiss-based firm issued a statement saying Vitol Group is in compliance with all international laws on trade with Iran.

 

"A Bahraini subsidiary company purchased a spot cargo of fuel oil from a non Iranian counterparty in July 2012. The fuel oil delivered under contract was of Iranian origin. Vitol Group companies no longer purchase any product of Iranian origin," Vitol said, without elaborating.

 

Vitol is not obliged to comply with a ban imposed in July by the European Union on trading oil with Iran because Switzerland decided not to match EU and U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

 

The company earlier in the year stopped trading Iranian crude oil from its main European offices before the July 1 EU embargo deadline. But the trading sources said it has continued to deal in Iranian fuel oil from the Middle East.

 

The tale of the cargo of Iranian fuel oil involves tanker tracking systems being switched off, two ship-to-ship transfers, and blending of the oil with fuel from another source to alter the cargo's physical specification.

 

Privately-held Vitol SA is led by its long-time CEO Ian Taylor, a Briton. Taylor was among leading donors to Britain's ruling Conservative Party named in March by the Prime Minister's office as having dined with David Cameron at his private apartment in Downing Street amid the fall-out from a "cash for access" party funding scandal. Britain is a vociferous critic of Tehran's nuclear program and a leading advocate of the EU sanctions.

In short: pretty much nobody (at least not anyone who is solvent and does not rely on US wealth redistribution) cares what Uncle Sam has to say any more whenever money and geopolitcs are concerned. Goodbye Globocop: every reserve status ends some day.

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GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Can you spare a cup of sugar?

 

Badabing's picture

Put  this:

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-09-27/will-israel-blow-somethi...

 together with this:

China Delivers Crude Supertanker To Iran

 

 and now you have a story!!

blindfaith's picture

speaking of flow, what do you make of those Artic Ice bergs in the Indian Ocean???????  Imagine floating all that way and no ships hitting them.

WOW

Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Artic [sic] Ice bergs [sic] in the Indian Ocean"

Care to cite a source on this?

falak pema's picture

To add to the spice of the story, the Chinese have their first Aircraft carrier in the South China Sea and a Mega tanker for Iranian delivery.

Many guys will be gunning for China's floating assets!

Looks like China walks the streets of Dodge like ole Wyatt Earp; every gunslinger in town on his heals! 

CrashisOptimistic's picture

That's essentially what a China-Japan war looks like.  Sinking tankers.

We're talking about consumption rates of millions of barrels/day and all or most of it imported.  

After a week of shutting down imports, the war ends.  Well, it ends for Japan.  China has nuclear weapons and will wipe out Tokyo with a missile that does not require oil for fuel.  

Of course, Japan will have invoked the Japan-US mutual defense treaty by then (and let's recall that on request Japan did send $1 billion to support Desert Storm in the early 90s) and Beijing will likely be turned into a crater, too.

All of which will reduce oil consumption globally and its price.

falak pema's picture

I wouldn't bet on a nuclear Japan/China war. Nobody is that dumb.

From the Iran perspective their projected tanker fleet only represents 30 days capacity @ 2 million BPD export production or 20 days @ 3 million export. It aint much. 

I see an Iran pipeline to PAk/India via Afgh one of these days; more likely for its gas potential.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Nobody is the dumb?  Have you met a politician lately?

 

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Wait a minute.  Are you talking about the same Japanese politicians that nuked their own people and then actually thought they could cover it up?

falak pema's picture

lol, the biggest lesson of today's world is that THAT breed just makes NO Decisions. They just rake in their percentage and let the Oligarchs run the fiat, financial world.

80% of first world assets are denominated in Fiat....awesome wake up call coming...

Those Politicians, at least the less crazy ones, who are not neo-cons, know they run bankrupt nations who can't afford more wars anymore. They all talk reluctantly of fiscal cliffs and pain and sacrifice to come for their 99% fold who elect them.

You can be a oligarchy shill politician today, make NO decisions, take your cut and stay put. 

Like the current incumbent would so like to do in DC! 

When it comes to nuking their own fold, the 99%, its no big deal; its called a "national tragedy".

And the sheeple buy it.

oldman's picture

Falek,

"Nobody is that dumb."

No Body In China or Japan is that dumb!

There----it reads better              om

Arthur Borges's picture

Um, the Liaoning is more of a training platform than warship: no planes aboard and neither the PLA nor US navies expect to see it capable of any combat patrol for another five years.

Joe A's picture

An second hand aircraft carier but no planes that can take off from it. No experience with aircraft cariers. The US has what, 11 or 12 carier groups and amphibious assualt groups? Good luck China.

disabledvet's picture

This article is totally retarded.

GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Thanks for your opinion Chief......check with the secretary on the way out and she'll comp your parking.

 

john39's picture

US policy towards Iran is retarded and most of the world knows it.

ATM's picture

actually it is just good theater. We have our new boogeyman in Iran. Always need a good enemy to make sure the militarists get that juicy funding because if the people aren't scared they should be.

Then you have the boogeyman to be Red China, who buy a large amount of their oil from Iran and have for years. Anyone think they can just go replace that supply from somewhere else? Aint going to and can't happen.

Everyone knows this. China will buy Iranian oil. period end of story. Our bureaucrats simply use this reality as a scare tactic. Scared people are just so much more agreeable when said bureaucrats want to fuck said people. Sometimes they even beg for more.

Dr. Engali's picture

Our foreign policy is totally retarded.

 

There fixed it for you.

GeezerGeek's picture

It is retarded only if one assumes it is designed to work to benefit the common folk, We the People. If one looks at it as a method for TPTB to increase their power, one might not regard it as totally retarded.

OutLookingIn's picture

Drawing lines in the sand.

Okay. I double, triple, quintuple, gazillion, bazillion, dare you to cross that one!

Quickly running out of beach to draw lines on.

No nation gives one rats ass anymore! Pound sand?

Okay, heres your hammer!

RSloane's picture

So is posting "this is totally retarded" in every thread. Ask the guy who's holding the gun to your head and forcing you to read ZH to kindly let you browse to another site.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

disabledvet, I have to call you out here.  What is "retarded" about the article?

Bicycle Repairman's picture

disabledvet, still waiting for some reasoned discourse.  Right now only you look retarded.

Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

It appears his brain is the disabled part.

neptunium's picture

I wouldn't call it "retarded" as such but as always the slant is that the US hegemony is somehow worse than any of the alternatives. 

What amazes me is how many people from the US are desperately hoping for your own failure - you dismiss Iran's nuclear potential as "a conspiracy" and throw up junk terms like "false flag" with gay abandon while failing to consider what a nuclearised middle-east could mean - proliferation from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and probably Turkey too, in which case you are sitting on the same tinderbox you have now but without any limit on escalation.

None of the states surrounding Iran, with the exception of Assad's Syria want Iran to have a weapon, notice how silent they are on the prospect of an Israeli strike? This isn't a "zionist-american conspiracy", if anything, in this instance, it is the US dragging its feet, how do you feel the house of Saud feels about Iran going nuclear (for example) and there is no state in that region, including Israel, Turkey, Egypt and the UAE states that is blind to the ramifications of Iranian regional ambitions, do you think that the Sunni-dominated mid-east is relaxed about that development?  

US foreign policy has oft been extremely counter productive, Iraq in particular has had almost universal negatives, but that does not necessarily mean that any intervention under any circumstance (from sanctions through to airstrikes) is similarly so - it depends what period of time you are expecting to measure success or failure on, ignoring Iran's regional ambition is easy in the short term and then gets progressively more complex as it builds the same sort of capability (with attendant instability and proliferation risk) that Pakistan now has. 

The logic in all cases seems to be "everything is a conspiracy, we should not intervene ever and concentrate on domestic foreign policy" which is well and good if you can be energy independent, in that instance you can stop worrying about the middle east, until such time as that materialises you require a degree of military stability, enforced through client states (Saudi Arabia) and your assets in-theatre (of which Israel is one). It's not a pretty picture by any means but what are the immediate alternatives?

Lastly, if you think we're at the end of the USD as global reserve currency, what then, is capable of taking the strain? 

Joshua_D's picture

It doesn't really matter what you think, or I think, or anyone else thinks. History speaks to what lies ahead. All empires fall. All fiat currencies fail. All reserve currencies are eventually replaced. It's going to happen.

neptunium's picture

All of which I agree with, I am simply disputing that this is inevitable in the immediate future. As I said, what is the alternative? The Reninbi? The Euro? The Ruble? A new currency pegged to PM's or Oil.

We're clearly eventually heading back to a multipolar world, I just wonder how many of those currently gleefully anticipating the end of US global influence will come to appreciate how Russia and China prefer to 'do business'.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Maybe if US global influence didn't require endless wars and the destruction of the constitution, the magna carta and everything that makes America exceptional, we might be able to gin up some enthusiasm.

Joshua_D's picture

Some Americans may still, in fact, prefer justice to security and comfort. There is no way to determine the "when" that these things will happen. Pray tell, what is the "immediate future"? How long does that last? When will the immediate future be over?

 

It's better to be prepared now, mentally and physically, than to listen to concern trolls and be caught off guard. "Oh I agree that the shit is going to hit the fan fellas, just not tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next. Or the next. So don't worry."

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Back at ya!!

I wouldn't call it "retarded" as such but as always the slant is that the US hegemony is somehow worse than any of the alternatives. 

The US has killed over a million people in the ME in the last 20 years, including Madeline Albright’s admission of 500,000 dead children.  There is a sense that we could do better

throw up junk terms like "false flag" with gay abandon

American history is littered with false flag incidents from the Maine to the Tonkin Gulf.

while failing to consider what a nuclearised middle-east could mean

Israel already has hundreds of nukes.  Perhaps some of them are in a very sophisticated configuration i.e. miniaturized.  What do you say to de-nuclearizing the entire Middle East?

None of the states surrounding Iran, with the exception of Assad's Syria want Iran to have a weapon, notice how silent they are on the prospect of an Israeli strike?

The US literally owns these nations, therefore they have no opinion.

This isn't a "zionist-american conspiracy", if anything, in this instance, it is the US dragging its feet, how do you feel the house of Saud feels about Iran going nuclear

The House of Saud serves at the pleasure of London and Washington.  As for the GCC, how do you think these so-called states were created?  

US foreign policy has oft been extremely counter productive

Why is it that only America needs intervention when dealing with other nations?

 ignoring Iran's regional ambition is easy in the short term

Iran hasn’t invaded a neighbor in centuries.

…. [Iran] as it builds the same sort of capability (with attendant instability and proliferation risk) that Pakistan now has. 

Funny how Pakistan’s nukes never engendered the same angst.  Why is that?

The logic in all cases seems to be "everything is a conspiracy, we should not intervene ever and concentrate on domestic foreign policy" which is well and good if you can be energy independent,

By “domestic foreign policy” I’ll assume you mean domestic policy.  The US domestic economy is in a shambles.  Our infrastructure is getting increasing frayed.  The constitution has been obliterated because of enhanced security measures created to protect the “Homeland” of the American Empire.  Many Americans are not interested in chasing ghosts overseas and want the USA to be repaired.

As for energy independence, All of America’s energy comes from the western hemisphere from long term allies.  Middle East oil is Europe’s and East Asia’s concern

 in that instance you can stop worrying about the middle east, until such time as that materialises you require a degree of military stability, enforced through client states (Saudi Arabia) and your assets in-theatre (of which Israel is one). It's not a pretty picture by any means but what are the immediate alternatives?

The assumption is the Middle East cannot possibly survive without American intervention.  I think they would disagree.  Would there be some bloodshed?  Possibly, but that is what we have now

Lastly, if you think we're at the end of the USD as global reserve currency, what then, is capable of taking the strain? 

Barter and gold are two possibilities that spring to mind immediately.  And these are being used now, so this is not “conspiratorial thinking.”

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Poor show, disabledvet, poor show.

Money 4 Nothing's picture

The USA is and has always been at war with itself from day 1. We finance the best enemies money can buy. Sokay Vet, shrapnel to the dome is a bitch eh?

Arthur Borges's picture

"Nuclearized Middle East"? Yep, we've had it at the Dimona facility since the 1960s; Israeli locals nicknamed it the "Nail Factory."

Nuclear Iran? Yep, there was an atom bomb project under the Shah. First thing Khomeiny did was to terminate it, along with contracts for nuclear power plants. France got unhappyand froze the USD 2 bln down payment (or was it 4 bln? I forget); anyhow, it triggered a few bombings in France. But now? Not much chance of a nuclear weapons program there: according to ex-AEC chemical engineer Clinton Bastin:

 ”Sure, Iran could divert a few tons of 3.5% or a ton of 20% enriched uranium hexaflouride gas for enrichment to 90+%. But what then? No one has ever made a nuclear weapon from gas.”

See "Netanyahu Caught Ignoring Top IAEA 'No Iran Bomb' Report at VeteransToday for the full fun.

LawsofPhysics's picture

In other words; fuck the dollar!

 

We really need to ask for gold or oil in exchange for the next shipment of soybeans to China, not much use for a supertanker around here.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

We can't ask for gold while China has a wheelbarrow full of Bennie Bux.  It would be ...... embarrassing.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Why?  Many of us have a wheelbarrow full of fucking yaun.  Hey dipshit, FIAT IS FIAT IS FIAT!!!

Bicycle Repairman's picture

The US has a wheelbarrow full of fucking yuan?  Where?  Fort Knox?

grid-b-gone's picture

Preppers can be dismissed as almost Amish-quaint, but cutting the Saudis, the U.S., and the U.S. dollar out of big oil deals has got to be noticed.

Let's hope U.S. hubris and ego have a limit that is reached before the market limit.     

As with De Beers, one doesn't need to own production to own a market.

JPM Hater001's picture

"but it is unclear if the ship has the permits necessary to call at global ports."

Paper.  TPTB still think paper controls the world.

Here is what is needed: You sell they buy.  Pull up the truck Wilbur.

Everything else is distraction and games.

HD's picture

CNBC site for the past hour -  "US Stocks Seen Flat After Spain Budget"  Apparently, down 71 dow points is the new flat.

GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Yes....and let's just leave it at that.

 

orangegeek's picture

Flat like Christina Hendrick's chest.